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In Ghana, Drug Scandal Implicates High Ranking Police Officials

In November of 2005, about 78 packages of cocaine, with a street value of 230 million dollars, was imported into Ghana via a waterway vessel. The case created upheaval within the police service; several high-ranking officers were suspected of participation. Recently, the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), called on President John Kufuor’s government to remark on the alleged involvement of members of the police service. The NDC hopes the request will exhibit Ghana’s ability to deal with drug problems. In a press conference yesterday, the NDC called for the establishment of a bipartisan parliamentary committee to investigate. It demanded that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Patrick Acheampong, resign and police officers mentioned in connection to the case be put on leave. VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey talked with Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the general secretary for the NDC.

“We expressed concern about the cocaine scandals and how they have been handled so far. We reminded everybody that when the scandals broke out, we felt that because of the possible involvement of…people in high positions, [the case was] to be better handled by a bi-partisan parliamentary committee. And the second concern is that if indeed it is necessary to arrest witnesses or people about whom allegations have been made, then the arrests have been one-sided…. We think that the police officers who have been implicated, some of whom are already serving on other committees to investigate other…scandals, [should be put on leave]. We see no reason why they should be left in office to continue investigating those scandals. Finally, we are calling on the IGP to resign.

“We have seen that the authority of the police is located in the IGP. All of the people are acting on his instructions. You can delegate authority but you cannot delegate responsibility…. Also, the IDP…went on air insisting that nobody would resign from the police service or would be affected because of ongoing police proceedings.”

Asiedu-Nketia voiced his concern about the implication of the police service in the recent drug scandal; he said he hopes it will not cloud the investigation.

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